RSI Winds has been completely redone to keep it
useful, fun, and easy to use. Version 2 is a full-fledged,
windowed program that runs on all versions of Windows and all Mac
OSs from 10.3 forward (on both PowerPC- and Intel-based computers).
Use RSI Winds to help your students learn about these topics
- What the pressure gradient force is, and how it creates wind
- How air moves around high and low pressure centers
- How the Coriolis force depends on which hemisphere you are
in, and how it influences the wind
- What the friction force is, how it influences the wind, and
how it depends on height
- How the atmosphere's winds above the surface depend on both
surface pressure patterns and the atmosphere's temperature
RSI Winds uses a variety of interactive, animated displays
to help your students grasp difficult concepts about how the air
moves. Take a look at the sample screens below to see what we
The following are a portion of the screens and interactives we've
built into RSI Winds. To see them all, download an evaluation
copy of the program and explore!
Click on the pictures for enlarged views of the screens and use
your browser's Back button to return. Note that the enlarged
views are smaller than the screens would appear in reality, and that
the image quality is therefore degraded.
||This is the Wind Screen, Winds
main screen. Students can move highs and lows on the
map and instantly see the effects on the pressure pattern
and winds. They can change the intensity of the
pressure centers, together or individually, to how the winds
change. The can alter the Earth's spin and the
hemisphere viewed to understand the role of the Coriolis
force. Friction can be changed to see how it changes
both wind speed and direction.
You can print worksheets
based on this screen, and students can save screen
configurations to logbook files that can be recalled later.
You can use the logbook to prepare useful configurations for
Split Screen enables students to directly compare how
different factors affect the winds by using a side-by-side
display. For example, in the picture at left the maps
are being used to see how the Coriolis effect differs by
hemisphere. The upper map shows the winds around a
high and low; the lower map shows the pressure centers in
the same relative position in the Southern Hemisphere.
Both maps always share the pattern of highs and lows laid
out on the top map, but the maps can have their pressure,
Earth spin/hemisphere and friction set independently.
||The Aloft Screen,
new to Version 2, is designed to help your
students visualize what is meant by a pressure surface, and
to see the factors that influence the winds aloft.
With this screen you can show the winds are influenced by
the pressure pattern at the surface and the latitudinal
variation of temperature.
There are several Q topics -- supporting,
interactive displays that focus on specific topics -- that
help explain how the aloft winds work. Tow are shown
||The winds are driven by the pressure
gradient force, modified by friction near the surface, and
redirected by the Coriolis force. The Balance of
Forces interactive shows how these forces work
together to create the winds as they are. Students can
see the balance of forces anywhere on the map.
||The Coriolis Force interactive
presents the classic turntable demonstration of how rotation
affects apparent motion. This is in 3D to help the
concept make sense.
||New to RSI Winds Version 2 is the
subject of aloft winds. There are a number of concepts
associated with teaching this, and we've addressed them with
several interactives. The Pressure Surface (3D)
interactive lets the student change the atmosphere's
temperature and see what happens to the selected pressure
surface. It's in 3D to help the students see the way
the surface is warped by temperature differences.
modified version of this interactive is used to show why
there are jet streams. Students can change the
magnitude of air mass differences to see how aloft winds can
be made stronger in narrow latitude bands.
Your computer should have the following hardware and software:
- Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista or Mac 10.3+ running on
either PowerPC or Intel processors. Processor speed minimum is
500 MHz; 1 GHz or faster is recommended
- Video capability of
running 3D graphics. This is typical on computers sold
during the last 5+ years. High-end, game-oriented video
adapters are NOT required
- 15 MBytes of free hard disk space
A display with a screen resolution of at least 800x600 pixels with
24-bit color depth; XGA (1024x768 resolution) with 24-bit color
depth is recommended
- A pointing device such as a mouse
Printing capability is required if you wish to print out logbook
entries and worksheets
- A CD-ROM drive (used only during installation).
The Teacher's Guide for
is a PDF file than can be read with
Adobe Reader. The version available here omits the
answers to the questions posed within it; the Teacher's Guide you
receive with the software will contain the answers.
the link below will open the Teacher's Guide for viewing (if your
browser is so configured). To save the file, right click on
the link and choose the Save Target As... option.